New CD: Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy
The first album by Judith to be recorded live, this is a work highly charged with emotion and truth. "A live record -the pianist confesses- bears the truth of the moment. As a performer, I believe in the value of honesty, in the value of what is unique, of being able to share an instant of real emotion. And that's what I feel this recording possesses".
Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy came into being as a tribute concert played in 2018 to mark the centenary of the death of the French composer, and it is conceived now in album form as a journey through the works of Debussy and of composers intimately linked to him. "I like a concert or a disc to represent a journey and to tell a story - she explains - and that is why I chose this line of argument instead of a monographic project. Moreover, I also decided on these composers because I've have felt particularly close to them in recent years". In addition, Judith identifies with the aesthetic of the composers subject of the recording: "although he was born in Mexico, my father grew up in France, and French culture and a French take on things have always been very present in my home. Among my childhood memories there are many afternoons `on the other side of the border´, in Biarritz, St Jean de Luz, Bayonne… all my life I've had that innate connection and so I am in the thrall of the colours, the suggestive nature, the natural sophistication and the aesthetic of Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc… That explains why I feel so good in general with music connected with Paris, such as that by Chopin, Falla or Mompou” she remembers.
The pianist has had an intense relationship with Debussy in particular over the last few years. “I am fascinated by his language, his natural emotion, the way in which he creates colours and differently woven layers on the instrument, where melodies, harmonies and rhythmic motifs are hidden and insinuated, which are so evocative, full of genius. By playing his music you can travel mentally from a dawn to a sunset, across the fields, the sea, the most exotic landscapes and also across the most human and intimate reality", she states.
Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy begins with Falla's work of the same name, a tribute that the Spaniard wrote on occasion of the French composer’s death. It is a funeral march to the rhythm of a Habanera, which relates the strong relationship of mutual influence and admiration maintained between the two composers. This piece is followed on the album by Ballade no. 2 by Liszt, one of Debussy's predecessors, who established a crucial bridge between Romanticism and what is known as Impressionism, of which Debussy would be the maximum exponent.
And so we reach the mid-point in the album, where we come across what the pianist points to as "two pianistic jewels by Debussy: the Estampes and L’isle joyeuse. In Estampes we find the magic, the perfume and the exotic notes of the Debussyian soul and in L’isle joyeuse we discover a brilliance and extrovert nature which are most unusual in his catalogue. These are two works which sit perfectly together and bring together the essence of the composer in an ideal fashion".
From there we arrive at another of Debussy's great points of reference, Frédéric Chopin, with his Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante op. 22, a grand dance which, while heroic, is always elegant, full of spirit and bravura. The Andante reflects the lyricism which so captivated Debussy during his years of study at the Paris Conservatoire. As a farewell to this journey, the childhood memory that was always present in Debussy appears in last place on the album, in the form of the delicious Jeunes filles au jardin by Federico Mompou, another of the composers whose works are fundamental in the life and career of Judith Jáuregui.
Judith Jáuregui with ARS Produktion
Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy is the first collaboration between Judith Jáuregui and the German label ARS Produktion. There have been four previous albums in the pianist's career: after a first recording for the label Columna Música devoted to Robert Schumann (2011), Judith embarked on the creation of her own label, BerliMusic, and went on to publish three conceptual recordings.“Berli was a fantastic project - she remembers - and I learned a great deal with it, recording with a superb team. It gave me the opportunity to create three journeys which are totally different from beginning to end, and to delve deeper in the works of composers like Granados, Falla, Albéniz, Liszt, Mompou, Scriabin and Szymanowski. I take away from the experience all the things I have learned along the way".
Of her new label, ARS Produktion, Judith values "how they look after the performers, giving them the freedom that I was looking for when I created Berli, and at the same time provide a well-established structure at a worldwide level". And she couldn't be joining the label at a better moment: ARS Produktion has recently been named Label of the Year in the prestigious ICMA Awards.
Madrid, Vienna, Berlin: the first presentations of Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy
Following the international launch programmed for March 8th, the first concerts to present the album will take place on March 18th at the Club Matador in Madrid, on March 28th at the Bösendorfer Salon in Vienna and on April 10th in the Piano Salon Christophori in Berlin.
The birth of this fifth album is taking place within the context of an excellent season for the pianist and which takes her to some of the most noteworthy concert cycles in Spain, such as the Liceo de Cámara XXI at the Madrid Auditorio Nacional, the Jornadas de Piano at the Auditorio Príncipe Felipe in Oviedo, the Musika-Música Festival in Bilbao and the Music Festival in Úbeda, as well as to different stages in France, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.